Friday, July 30, 2010

there are no words

at 11:50 this morning -- july 30, 2010 -- our lives changed forever.  today was the day we finally saw our son.

i was in my friend, kerry's, kitchen getting lunch ready for her three little people as she was at the hospital for the morning.  as i pulled the bread from the pantry, my cell phone rang...

"hello?" i answered.

"allison?" the kind voice on the other line asked.

i responded, "yes, this is allison."

"hi allison.  this is patricia.  you're not behind the wheel of your car, are you?" she asked with a giggle in her voice.

it was at that moment that the world around me disappeared.  patricia is our case worker at our adoption agency, and i knew there could only be one reason she would randomly be calling my cell phone.

i think i blurted out something to the effect of, "no, i'm not driving!!  why are you calling?!?  do you have something to tell us?!?!?!?"

she spoke with a quiet excitement (or maybe she just seemed quiet in comparison to my increasing voice volume) and said, "i've got a little baby for you.  he's only one month old.  he's tiny, but he's such a cute little guy.  would you like to hear more about him?" 

before i could scream "YES! YES! YES!", my phone beeped to let me know that i had another call coming in.  i glanced at the screen and saw that it was josh, so i frantically said, "AAGGHHH!!  can you hold on just a second please?  josh is beeping in."

i clicked over with a gigantic "HELLO?!?!?" and josh said, "hey babe, what's going on?"  i could tell that he had no idea patricia had been trying to get in touch with us so i squealed, "i'm on the phone with patricia.  she's just about to tell me about our baby!!!!!!" 

as i spoke those words to my precious husband, who i've walked hand-in-hand with through this long, sometimes difficult process, i lost it and the tears started flowing.

josh and i hung up, i clicked back over to patricia and said with a pitiful, crackly voice, "ok, i'm back.  please tell me everything."

she spent the next few minutes telling me what little is known about our baby's birthday, his birth family, the circumstances surrounding his surrender at the orphanage, and his medical history.  thankfully i had grabbed a pen and paper and was writing down every word she said or i promise you that i wouldn't be able to recall more than a couple of points from what she shared.  that moment was too incredible and overwhelming to have been able to grasp it all.

because he isn't legally ours yet, i can't show you pictures (oh, how i wish i could) and i can't even tell you much detail about him.  but i can share this...  he was awake and alert in all of his photos from the orphanage, he was wearing a pittsburgh steelers(*) onesie and a diaper, both of which looked almost comical on him because of how big they were.  but his gargantuan getup is because of this:  he weighed 4.4 pounds the day after his birth and last week during his medical exam, he was only up to 5.5 pounds. 

*families are asked to take orphanage donations when they go to pick up their little ones, so i'm imagining that he was wearing a onesie that was donated by a football fan here in the states.  ;-)

i've said from day one of this process that as hard as the paperchase and the early waiting are, i was guessing that the waiting that comes after a referral -- after there is a precious face connected to the baby you've prayed for for so long -- would be so much harder.  and i had honestly been a little surprised throughout the day today that i didn't have that huge rush of needing to have him in my arms. 

but then we sat down for our time of prayer tonight.

josh began by praising the lord for the great works he has done in our lives this week (there's even more than this amazing news) and he gradually turned his prayer toward asking god to protect and provide for our baby in specific ways.  before i go any further, though, you need to know this one little tidbit:  josh had asked me months ago when we quietly decided on what the baby's name would be to not refer to him by his adopted name but to stick with calling him "little man" or "the baby".

after some of the bumps and bruises we've felt over the past year in trying desperately to get to "the baby", it was just too real to call him by his name.  it felt too possible that he might slip away from us.

so as josh sat tonight with me on his right arm and every other square inch covered in little people, he began praying, "lord, we ask you to please protect judah tonight.  give him enough to eat and please provide him with someone to hold him and rock him.  father, please comfort our son, judah, and help him to know that we love him and that we're coming to get him soon." 

judah alexander lewis.  

in following with the same way we've named our other children, his first name means something special to us ("to praise") and his middle name is after someone in our family ("alexander" is josh's middle name).  what better way to say to judah that the lord graciously crossed our paths and allowed us to adopt him into our family, much in the same way that the lord has adopted us into his. 

once i finally stopped -- stepped away from the delightful madness of 493 phone calls, emails, and facebook messages -- it became real.  hearing josh pray for judah by name for the very first time in 20 months crumbled the wall i had gradually built up to protect my heart from the pain of not having him and the fear of not ever getting him.  in the utterance of a single name, my mind flooded with pictures of his face as my heart crumbled with a longing to tuck him in tonight.

we have a son in ethiopia.  be still, my heart.

i will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and 
will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.  -psalm 7:17


The Weathers Report said...

WOW!! Praise the Lord! This makes me cry to read this, I cannot imagine what you are feeling! What a special day and I can't wait for his gotcha day!

I agree there are no words! Perfect. I am going send you something on tears that I read on a friends blog yesterday. It so reminds me of this, tears and no words.

I don't know what all you have been going through but I have been praying for your family.

I'll keep praying Judah home! What a special name! I love it! Thanks so much for sharing your heart, your experience and I can't wait to see his sweet face!

Love you Allison!

The Weathers Report said...

Thank you for posting tonight, after I saw the news on FB, I was so excited and kept checking for this post! Thanks for including us readers in your journey!

Here is the post: Part 1

When Words Fail, Tears Flow

I know it's been a while since I blogged (I've got to get back on the wagon!). I've really been struggling lately with feelings of hopelessness. I'm a week away from my 31st birthday. I started my period a few days ago. While laying in bed Monday night, It all just came on me like a ton of bricks. Then the tears started.
I picked up a little book at an estate sale my Mom did a while back. It's a book called "For Those Who Hurt" by Charles Swindoll. On the inside is an inscription to the original owner in November of 1995. It made me wonder what was going on in this woman's life during that time. I've been reading it this week and one of the chapters called "Some Thoughts on Tears" made me reconsider the tears I've shed this week. Here it is...

The Weathers Report said...

Part 2

"When words fail, tears flow. Tears have a language all their own, a tongue that needs no interpreter. In some mysterious way, our complex inner-communication system knows when to admit its verbal limitations.... and the tears come.

Eyes that flashed and sparkled only moments before are flooded from a secret reservoir. We try in vain to restrain the flow, but even strong men falter.

Tears are not self-conscious. They can spring upon us when we are speaking in public, or standing beside others who look to us for strength. Most often they appear when our soul is overwhelmed with feelings that words cannot describe.

Our tears may flow during the singing of a great, majestic hymn, or when we are alone, lost in some vivid memory or wrestling in prayer.

Did you know that God takes special notice of those tears of yours?

Psalm 56:8 tells us that He puts that in His bottle and enters them into the record He keeps on our lives.

David said, "The Lord has heard the voice of my weeping."

A teardrop on Earth summons the King of Heaven. Rather than being ashamed or disappointed, the Lord takes note of our inner friction when hard times are oiled by tears. He turns these situations into moments of tenderness; He never forgets those crises in our lives where tears were shed.

One of the great drawbacks of our cold, sophisticated society is its reluctance to showing tears. For some strange reason, men feel that tears are a sign of weakness...and many an adult feels it's immature. How silly! How unfortunate! The consequence is that we place a watchdog named "restraint" before our hears. This animal is trained to bark, snap and scare away any unexpected guest who seeks entrance.

The ultimate result is a well-guarded, highly respectable, uninvolved heart surrounded by heavy bars of confinement. Such a structure resembles a prison more than a home where the tender Spirit of Christ resides.

Jeremiah lived in no such dwelling. His transparent tent was so tender and sensitive he could not preach a sermon without the interruption of tears. "The weeping prophet" became his nickname and even though he didn't always have the words to describe his feeling, he was never at a loss to communicate his convictions. You could always count on Jeremiah to bury his head in his hands and sob aloud.

Strange that this man was selected by God to be His personal spokesman at the most critical time in Israel's history. Seems like an unlikely choice-unless you value tears as much as God does. I wonder how many tear bottles in heaven are marked with his name.

I wonder how many bear your initials. You'll never have many until you impound restraint and let a little tenderness run loose. You might lose a little of your polished respectability, but you'll have a lot more freedom. And a lost less pride."

Thank you so much to my friends that allow me the freedom to cry in front of them. Thank you to my husband who bears it the most. I know that God has a plan for us. It's just really hard to stay eternally minded when the months keep going by. Please keep us in your prayers.

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. Romans 8:26

rachel @ perfectly imperfect said...

thanks for the blog invite, allison! : )
this is amazing- i'm just thrilled for Judah to be apart of your family. God is pretty incredible, huh? wow! chills just thinking about how He has always known exactly how He wanted to grow your family & where He wanted to place this sweet little boy- right in your arms. incredible...
thanks for sharing this story- everything about it blesses the reader!
rachel blazer

Rebecca said...

"He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD." Psalm 40:3
A new day...and a new song!!! SO excited for you. Praying, praying, praying!! Love you!

Robin said...

this is so beautiful. my thoughts, prayers, love and excitement are definitely with you!!

Brian and Jen said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes! I am so happy for you guys. You are a precious family and Judah is blessed already to have you interceding on his behalf, loving him from afar and waiting longingly for him! We join with you in prayer at our house as you anxiously await the day you can hold him in your arms!
Love you guys!

Giann said...

Praise God! I got goose bumps and was a bit teary at some points! Praise the LORD!(that is really all I can say at the moment.)

I can barely wait to see him and to follow more of your journey to get him and bring him HOME!!!!



Lora Lynn @ Vitafamiliae said...

crying... yet again. So. very. excited. for y'all. Thank you for sharing a little piece of him with us. Cannot wait to meet him!! Love the name!

Julie Shaw said...

congratulations, we are so happy for you all. Judah is a beautiful name and I can't wait to hear more about him.He will be the most blessed baby to be joining the Lewis family!!!!

The Taylors said...

CHILL BUMPS!!!!! I need some time with you. I want to hear all about JUDAH! I love you and will continue to pray. Let's talk soon.